Well the mudbath is over for the year and we have a new
bunch of national champions. The only thing left is to pick out the grime and
clods of dirt from your spikes and gummies.
But is that the end of it?
Locals know that Grenada North is a boggy place, even on a
nice day. Out of town competitors were
warned but the level of mud on Sunday was possibly beyond the pale.
Of course this all goes to defining what a good running
cross-country course is and does Grenada North meet the standard.
From a pure technical perspective Grenada may not tick all
the boxes. The starting straight could be a bit longer before the first turn comes
up and yes there are probably too many turns as well especially when you add up
The course layout team did a fair job at trying to find the
driest lines for the modified course (changed to avoid the worst bits of the
Wellington XC aftermath) but it was clear that only so much could be done.
The thick mud seemed to be everywhere and we
were probably lucky it didn't rain on the day as much as forecast.
I know that some people would have loved the course. Michelle Allison said she was having a great
time and a day later Malcolm Hodge said he enjoyed it (really Malcolm?).
Spectators would have been happy because it
was easy to see how the races progressed and to get real close to the action. A race director Todd Stevens though it was a
Senior men’s winner Oli Chignell was obviously not too
phased by the mud either as he is a little fella (and built for mud surfing) -
see Oli’s video interview with Murray McKinnon and Nick Pointon).
But on the other hands some will have hated the course not
because there were boggy bits but because there was so much of it. And if for nothing else these championships
will be remembered for the mud.
Grenada North will be used again for the 2019 championships
but I suspect there will be some interesting discussions behind the scenes
between now and then.
Good news that a NZ team will be named for the World XC
Champs in 2019. The last time we had a team at these champs was 2011. The bad news is that anybody selected will have to pay for the
trip themselves including contributing to the team management costs.
Justin Lester did a good job navigating the course in the run for fun event,
and in bare feet. He got dirty though
Wayne Atkins was back watching the action
Niam MacDonald ran a terrific race and continues to impress
Michelle Allison (W60) can still jump hurdles
Nick Horspool and Dan Jones still recovering from the Gold
Coast marathon (and their great times) so would not be pushing it
Liam Back is going to go a long way in the sport
Steve Reese-Jones owned the Masters Men race but headed off most
of the Men’s U20 field as well
Can’t help feeling for Penny Peskett, runner-up in the
Senior Women’s race for two years in a row.
Boys and Girls U11 Photos
Women U18 Photos
Boys and Girls U13 Photos
Masters Men 35-64, Men U20
Master's Women and Master's Men 65+ Photos
Men U18 and Women U20 Photos
Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester takes the jump in the run for fun